Feminists are grieving
No, I’m not ok. I feel like I was beaten up and robbed. I feel like I tried my best to reason with people and failed. I debated. I took verbal blows and insults; I was bullied on line for asking people to consider voting for her, the most qualified, the smartest, most compassionate and hardworking candidate who was in the democratic race for president of the United States — the only one who does not have an outsized ego propelling her toward the most powerful position on the planet. What compelled her to run was what compelled us to vote for her — the desire for a government that helps people thrive no matter what their struggle might be. She spent her time trying to figure out why people go broke and devised detailed plans to fix that. She had the ability to implement those plans. She is kind. She is nurturing. She is brilliant. Her name is Elizabeth Warren and she ran for president because that’s what girls do.
Then she did something stunning. She got on that national presidential debate stage and stood up to men. She stood up to the most powerful, richest man and with startling mental agility and an arsenal of facts, delivered sweet justice for all women who have been dismissed, mocked, berated, put down, ignored, held back, harassed, insulted, gaslighted, abused. I couldn’t believe my eyes watching it live on television. It was masterful.
Bloomberg never recovered. Go back and watch his face. It’s the face every man makes when you’ve got him cornered by the truth. It was so badass, I got chills. It was so devastating, I can assure you Trump was scared. It was, for many of us, the greatest knockout in televised political history and our heavyweight champ was a woman. Best of all, the best was yet to come. The next fight, she would confront the most dangerous man in the world, Trump, and we knew she could deliver. She was our David to the GOP’s Goliath.
Then she effortlessly gave women yet another gift : her interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC — that interview that tied him up with a pink bow finished him — where she defended the woman who had accused Bloomberg of pregnancy discrimination. She wasn’t parroting platitudes like other candidates, she was put on the defensive by one of the most highly skilled political pundits on TV and she deftly exposed him for being the sexist he is. She turned the attack into an opportunity to broadcast the urgent issues of believing women, harassment at work and pregnancy discrimination, all of this in prime time! Oh, it was a bonanza of feminist satisfaction.
As someone who has been battling insurance companies for years to get bills paid for my husband who is in end stage renal failure, Warren’s wonkiness spoke to my heart. I worked hard to convince everyone who would listen. I did my homework to expose the superiority of her electability when compared to her competitors. I even convinced my husband, the smartest, most stubborn person I know. Here’s how I did it:
Me: “If I was dead and out of the picture and you were faced with these candidates, Biden, Bernie, Bloomberg or Warren to manage your affairs, financial, medical, your estate, etc, which would you choose?”
Me: “ OK, let’s go wider. If you are faced with these candidates to manage your city the way it ought to be run, which would you choose?”
Me: “Good, you’re smart. Now let’s go even wider to the state level. Your state, your home state and the state where you live, California. Who is the best one to run your state?”
Him: “She is. You’re right. You’ve changed my mind.”
Me: “OK, now think the nation and the G20 stage. Who can best run this ship? Warren, of course.”
Yes, I persuaded my husband to vote for Warren because she was the only one in the running who was capable of landing the plane safely, someone we could count on, someone competant reassuring us that everything was going to be OK, like a super-smart mom.
Then Super Tuesday brought us back to the reality — that no matter how good you are, how smart, how hard you work, it’s never quite enough as long as we allow men to stay in charge. Even some women don’t dare to believe that we can win despite the fact that our candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016. We were devastated by that loss but this year, we dusted ourselves off and mustered the resilience to hope again. Look at the line up of qualified female candidates! This would be our time.
No. It is not our time.
All the pundits and politicians showering Warren with praise today, the day after she had to quit, make me want to scream. Where was their public praise for her when she needed votes?
I am so grateful to every person who worked on this campaign. We learned much about courage, determination, grace and feminist pride. We learned how to hope that a government could have goodness and decency again after being traumatized and triggered by the dangerous sexual predator, liar, racist, tax cheat, dead beat authoritarian in the Oval Office. So please, moderates and revolutionaries, all of you who helped Warren quit, have some decency now and stop pushing her to endorse your Bernie or your Biden. You don’t even know what you lost. She doesn’t owe anyone anything. She has already given us so much. Girl needs a beer and a cuddle with her dog.
Please, everybody, let us breathe for a minute. Let us grieve. Let us cry bitter tears over having to wait four more years. We’ll get back up tomorrow and dream big and fight like hell because that’s what girls do.
Follow Carole on Twitter @caroleraphaelle